14.01.2013 - Culture Sector

The Director-General of UNESCO expresses her deep sadness at the death of Claude Nobs, founder of the Montreux Jazz Festival

Claude Nobs

The international jazz community has lost one of its most visionary and dedicated ambassadors. Claude Nobs devoted his life to musicians and creativity with great passion and high standards.

As an act of love for jazz and musicians, he founded in 1967 the Montreux Jazz Festival, which became the world’s premier jazz event and contributed to enhancing the international renown of that artistic expression and the development of jazz musicians. Young prodigies and established names on the international jazz scene performed at that mythical festival: Miles Davis, Nina Simone, David Bowie, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Carlos Santana…

UNESCO was greatly honoured by Claude Nob’s participation in the first International Jazz Day, on 30 April 2012. On that occasion, he recalled for the benefit of the public Nina Simon’s mythical 1976 concert at Montreux.

The UNESCO community is saddened by the loss of its friend, a lover of music and cultural diversity, tireless talent spotter and staunch defender of freedom of expression and improvisation, which are in integral part of jazz.

In my own name and on behalf of UNESCO, I would like to extend my sincere condolences to Claude Nob’s family and loved ones, to Switzerland and to the world jazz community. 

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